With the Small Robert Schumann Competition the city of Zwickau, the Robert Schumann Conservatory and the Robert Schumann Society seek to promote young talented pianists and provide a platform to demonstrate their musicianship. The competition, taking place every two years, addresses children and teenagers up to the age of 19 not having started their professional musical studies yet and having their permanent residence in the Federal Republic of Germany.
The focus is on Robert Schumann’s piano work, as far as the young pianists are able to master these compositions. According to the competitors’ preferences and because a lot of participants requests in recent years, the contest has been opened for music by other Romantic composers as well. Following a maxim Schumann established once — “Honour the old, but bring a warm heart to what is new. Hold no prejudice against names unknown to you” — the young pianists are also required to present one piece by a composer born after 1880.
The competition takes place in three age groups and its procedure depends on the competitors’ age. Participants up to the age of 10 come first, followed by those between 11 and 14 years. Competitors in the age group of 15 to 19 years finish the competition. Each age group is awarded three prizes. The competitor with the highest score is awarded a special prize by the Robert Schumann Society Zwickau. Additionally the best interpretation of a work composed after 1970 is recognized with a special award. The competition is followed by the award ceremony and the final concert, both taking place in the Robert Schumann Hall of the Conservatory.